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California Sea Lion

Zalophus californianus


  • Western North America


  • Coastlines


  • Squid
  • Fish
  • Clams

California Sea Lions are mammals. They must breathe at the surface and hold their breath while underwater, so they are specially adapted to live both on the land and in the sea.

  • Torpedoes: They are hydrodynamic, which means they have a body shaped like a torpedo that lets them move through the water with very little resistance.
  • On the Move: Sea lions use their front flippers in a wing-like motion to propel themselves through the water. Their hind flippers act like rudders in the water but can be rotated under the body to walk on land to help them climb on the rocky shorelines.
  • Lion’s Roar: California sea lions are among the most vocal of all mammals. They produce sounds both above and below water to communicate with each other. Their vocal repertoire is varied and rich with each individual having a distinct voice.

To learn more about California Sea Lions visit them at the Helmerich Sea Lion Cove.

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